Changes between Initial Version and Version 1 of Roja

Jun 28, 2012, 6:44:50 PM (10 years ago)



  • Roja

    v1 v1  
     41992 137’(114’) col/scope Tamil 
     5d/sc Mani Rathnam pc Kavithalaya Prod. 
     6p K. Balachander st/dial Sujata 
     7lyr Vairamuthu c Santosh Sivan 
     8m A.R. Rehman 
     9lp Aravind Swamy, Madhubala, Pankaj Kapoor, 
     10Janakaraj, Nasser 
     13Unusually, Mani Rathnam’s Tamil hit also 
     14became a success in its Hindi dubbed version. 
     15A politically controversial film set mainly in 
     16Kashmir, it recalls the real-life incident of a 
     17Kashmiri terrorist kidnapping of an Indian Oil 
     18official in 1993. In a spectacular opening the 
     19Indian army captures the dreaded Kashmiri 
     20terrorist Wasim Khan. In return, militants 
     21abduct the film’s hero, the Tamilian cryptologist 
     22Rishi Kumar (Swamy). Roja (Madhubala) is 
     23Rishi Kumar’s Tamil-speaking wife, left alone 
     24and unable to communicate in a land where 
     25nobody speaks her language. Eventually, just 
     26as she manages to convince a minister to agree 
     27to an exchange of prisoners, Rishi Kumar is 
     28released while the terrorist leader Liaqat 
     29(Kapoor) is ‘humanised’. The lead couple’s 
     30marriage in the sylvan surroundings of the 
     31cryptologist’s native Tamilian village, evokes 
     32the rhetoric of Tamil nationalism, a contentious 
     33issue in the context of Rajiv Gandhi’s 
     34assassination by Sri Lankan Tamils and the 
     35DMK’s avowed past seperatism. Rathnam then 
     36displaces this nationalism by inflating it to the 
     37dimensions of Indian and, more specifically, 
     38uncritically Hindu chauvinism contrasted with 
     39the presentation of the Kashmiris as religion 
     40obsessed, bellicose and profoundly 
     41‘unreasonable’. In one famous scene, the tiedup 
     42hero, offended by the Kashmiris’ burning of 
     43the Indian flag, crashes through a window and 
     44tries to extinguish the flames with his body to 
     45the tune of a Subramanya Bharati lyric. In 
     46Hyderabad, the film’s Telugu version sparked 
     47an outbreak of anti-Muslim slogans. Billed as a 
     48‘patriotic love story’, India’s election 
     49commissioner T.N. Seshan took the most 
     50unusual step of officially endorsing the film. 
     51The music was also a hit, esp. the rap number 
     52Rukmini sung in Hindi version by Baba Sehgal. 
     53Tejaswini Niranjana analysed the film’s political 
     54address in her essay Integrating Whose Nation? 
     55(1994), which led to a major debate on the film 
     56in the Economic & Political Weekly.